A Letter to Mr. Joseph J. Lhota - MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Dear Chairman Lhota:

On August 1, 2018 a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train from Penn Station to Port Washington derailed on the Queens side of the East River tunnels.  This is the second train that has derailed in that area in the past two weeks. Thankfully, no one was injured in either incident, but riders had to endure yet another round of service cancellations and delays.

Any derailment is dangerous and life threatening. It puts the ridership, employees and the greater public’s well-being in jeopardy.  Two derailments in the same spot, in a two-week period, are unacceptable and calls into question the overall safety of the system.

Every individual who uses the trains or puts a loved one on a train on a daily basis deserves to know what is being done to prevent the next accident; an accident that may cause loss of life, injuries and substantial property damage.  What is the plan, both long term and short term, to address these types of derailments?  Is maintenance on the tracks and trains being neglected? What changes were made at the location of the most recent derailments between the July 21st incident and today?

The welfare of the ridership should always be the number one goal of the system.  Recent events have called that commitment into question.  I look forward to a timely response so I can share with my constituents what the MTA and LIRR are doing to give every rider the confidence that they will arrive at their destination safely.

Thank you in advance for your immediate action on this most serious safety issue.


Carl L. Marcellino